Leaning into the allure of achievement, big corporations have been able to capitalize on capturing the attention of millions across the globe who aspire to one day reach the league or land atop the Billboard charts. While Nike personifies the spirit of athletes that aspire to excellence and Apple represents the ethos of innovators making the world more connected.
Adidas stands for creators actively redefining industries and disrupting business models. With a growing roster of notable change-makers such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, the apparel company aims to represent today’s ambitious era of multi-hyphenates, reflecting an influence that extends beyond a singular segment.
Julian Mitchell: Describe the inspiration behind this year’s ComplexCon activation and why this experience was important to introduce at the conference?
Torben: Our biggest source of inspiration is always our consumer, and the constant feedback we receive about our brand events and experiences. We challenged ourselves to show up at ComplexCon with moments that bridge the gap between cultural icons and their fans, while offering great product through a fully digital shopping experience. In addition to our new design with Pusha T, we worked closely to give local aspiring musicians one-on-one time with him during ComplexCon. As part of the Sound Labs program, those chosen by Pusha T worked to earn a musical development grant.
It’s been a busy few months for Pharrell Williams. Not long after starring in Adidas’ World Cup ad, collaborating with Camila Cabello, and announcing his foray into gastronomy, he’s now the subject of a comprehensive editorial in Vogue Italia. Touching on a myriad of topics including the meaning behind N*E*R*D’s “Lapdance” to his relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, the interview provides insight into William’s varied career, and how he views it. Here are the best bits.
On the meaning behind N.E.R.D’s “Lapdance”
“Most people don’t realize but our first single, Lapdance, was about the Bush administration; about how we felt politicians were more like dancers than they were politicians – they dance around the point.”
On how he’s giving back to Virginia Beach, the community he grew up in.
“One of the projects I’m dealing with now is building soundstages for film studios to come and work in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where I’m from – I gotta give back … The soundstages are priority for me. I know the kind of jobs they will create; the kind of economic trajectory it can have on my city and the neighboring ones.”
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